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The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, October 1, 1986
Pur ose-Underrated back Gerald White
does what it takes for Michigan
By BARB McQUADE
He's always been a standout on
the football field, but for Gerald
White, the team's the thing.
Like most of the Wolverines,
the senior fullback has his sights
set on one goal - a Big Ten
championship. But White has
sacrificed more personal targets
MUCH-HERALDED as a
freshman, White came to
Michigan to play tailback. He
was a high school All-American
twice in Titusville, Fla., gaining
1,738 yards his senior year.
An ankle injury reduced his
playing time his freshman year
in 1983, and when Jamie Morris
arrived at Michigan in 1984,
White was moved to fullback.
Playing primarily as a
blocker, the change meant less
glamour and recognition.
"IT DOESN'T bother me a bit
knowing that Jamie has a good
game," White said. "I know I
blocked for Jamie and his yards
are my yards, my yards are his
"It's all part of your job. When
you see something good happen for
someone else, I think that brings
satisfaction for me also."
White said he enjoys the new
position, but that he didn't always
feel that way. Had he been
switched to fullback his freshman
year, the 6-0, 220-pounder
admitted he would have been
"PLAYING fullback was just
something that I did not want to do
because it was directly related to
blocking, blocking, and
blocking. I guess that's an
immature attitude, but then again
I was a freshman. Being moved
when I did get moved helped me a
lot with my blocking and my
"Being a bigguy with not so
much speed, I think getting in the
hole quicker is a lot better for me.'
White, who runs a 4.6 40, said
the cooperation between the backs
was part of his decision to attend
Michigan. On a visit to another
school, he said, a running back
told him he didn't talk to the other
backs on the team because of the
intense competition for positions.
"I don't think a program can be
successful with people like that on
the team," White said.
IN ANN ARBOR, White
enjoys a close relationship with
Morris and fullback Bob
Perryman, both on and off the
"I think every person has a
role of improving each other," he
said. "Bob improves me and so
does Jamie, so we all work hand-
Morris agreed. He said the
backs ask each other what is
happening on the field, how the
defense is reacting. "If someone
goes down, we never lose a step
because we have so many great
backs at Michigan," Morris said.
WHITE IS considered to be one
of the best by Bo Schembechler.
The Michigan head coach uses
his fullback as a blocker, a
runner, and a receiver, and even
had him throw a pass last season
- a 40-yard completion to Paul
Jokisch against Illinois.
"He's the most underrated back
I've ever had play for me,"
Schembechler said. "He's a
AP Top Tt
1. Miami (56)
2. Alabama (1)
4. MICHIGAN 3
5. Penn State (1)
11 Iowa -
12. Washington 2
14. Texas A&M
16. Arizona St. 2
17. Michigan St.
20. N. Carolirna St.
L-0 4 55
-1-0 259 -
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB
Gerald White slashes his way through a hole against Florida State Saturday. In addition to being called on to run, White bloPks, catches passes,
and even throws the ball if called upon.
coach's back. He does everything
This season, White has gained
92 yards on 42 carries for a 3.5
average. He has rushed for two
touchdowns and caught a pass for
another. The fullback is third on
the team in receiving with seven
receptions for 88 yards.
IN 1985, White racked up 564
yards on 133 attempts -for 4.2
yards per carry. He also caught a
pass in every game, totaling 123
yards on 18 catches.
White, a sports management
and communication major, came
to Michigan because of its
successful football ,rogram, but
also for the atmosphere on the
"Michigan is family-
oriented," he said. "Everybody
gets along with everyone, and it
seemed like it would be a family
away from home."
Family life has always been
important to White. So much so
that his mother, Maria, moved to
Michigan his sophomore year.
"I came up here to be with him,"
she said. "We're real family-
His mother said his reputation
as a team player comes as no
surprise. "It's always been part of
his character," she said:
And, she adds, "He's always
played on awiiin-g-teafniI
romantic...and sexy love story."
-Peter Travers, PEOPLE MAGAZINE
THE 2ND RECRUIT EMPLOYMENT SEMINAR
Mf"* t Lc tL5I
She is the most mysterious, independent,
beau l, angry person he has ever met.
He is the first manwho has ever
gotten dose enough to feel
the heat of her anger.. and her love
~*MA/( L I Ct
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- ODIVII ( i i ) ±- E )
7c O t U
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THIS SEMINAR WILL BE HELD IN JAPANESE
.ED A E October 13, 1986
3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
2. PLA CE International Center
RECRUIT U.S.A., INC.
700 S. Flower St., Suite 3210
Los Angeles, CA 90017
I ~P.AR A~X1 T PW('TI 'RFti PllFS'S .~T~A fI'R 17? I(:2aRU A\' P(111(T!(W